New Selenium Against Cancer Study Moves Forward



Leading cancer researchers from Europe and America met in late September at the Campus of the Danish Cancer Society to announce the initiation of the PRECISE cancer prevention trial (Prevention of Cancer With Selenium in Europe and America). This multi-national double-blind cancer prevention trial, over a year in planning, is the appropriate response to recent editorials in several leading medical journals (Journal of the American Medical Association, The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, The Lancet, and Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention) which call for a definitive test of the hypothesis that supplements of the essential trace mineral selenium can prevent several different types of cancers in humans. The trial is expected to recruit 52,500 participants in six countries and will begin recruiting in Denmark on the Isle of Fyn later this year.

The study will be expanded to sites in other collaborating countries, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States as additional funds become available. The estimated $40 million project budget will be supported by grants from private individuals, corporations and foundations, as well as anticipated research grants from the European Union and the U. S. National Institutes of Health. The Solgar Vitamin and Herb Company has sponsored the organizational meetings and has pledged funds for five years.

The project is directed by Dr. Larry C. Clark of the University of Arizona Cancer Center whose earlier cancer prevention trial in the U. S. observed a 37% reduction in the incidence of cancer and a 50% reduction in cancer mortality in individuals receiving a supplement of selenium. He and his colleagues have designed this new trial to confirm that selenium supplementation can reduce cancer incidence in the general population. The northern European countries were selected for the trial because of their relatively low dietary selenium intakes. "If the results of the PRECISE trial confirm our earlier study, this would represent one of the most significant advances in the war on cancer in the last 100 years, however, we need the support of everyone to help make this vision a reality" said Dr. Clark, the lead investigator for this project.